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close this bookThe Courier N° 123 Sept - October 1990 - Dossier Higher Education - Country Reports: Barbados - (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)
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View the documentHigher education in the ACP States
View the documentHigher education and development
View the documentThe University and development in sub-Saharan Africa - the case of Makerere in Uganda
View the documentHigher education in sub-Saharan Africa: crisis in growth or structural crisis?
View the documentEducation and training in the Caribbean
View the documentTrinidad and Tobago: the technical training institutes
Open this folder and view contentsTraining schemes under Lomé II and III

Higher education in the ACP States

Higher education and the related aspect of training have been the subject of many a study in the ACP States, but it is a problem for which no really satisfactory solutions have been found and one might well wonder about the various ways it is tackled. It is a vast question and the size of it is reflected in the range of reforms adopted in these countries and the varying fortunes they have known.

Roughly speaking, the ACP education systems have continued with the types of education and training they inherited, perforce, from the educational institutions of Europe. There have been attempts to break away here and there, of course, but they have failed either to adapt education to the economic needs of the States or to improve its form or substance in the way the Governments were quick to say they wanted. And for three decades, the ACPs have concentrated on “ administrative studies “, to the detriment of science and technology.

But the constraints and crises of the modern economy are such that more and more Governments are beginning to revise their traditional higher education policies. Parents, worried about an uncertain future, are encouraging their children to go in for technology and this also helps to enhance the technical element of higher education in the ACP States, particularly those in Africa. However, it would be wrong to make too much of this trend towards technology, as it is still far too small to be general.

But it nevertheless prompts a number of remarks. First, there is a need to recast the content and organisation of higher education, and of primary and secondary education at the same time, which means a lot of help from education and training experts and a fundamental debate on the targets in the States and regions of the ACP countries. The technical trend in ACP training courses also has a perverse effect in that it acts as a further cause of the brain drain in which people go abroad because they feel they are not being used (effectively) in the economy or indeed the civil service of their own countries. So higher education and training are faced with a twofold problem - that of their standards and usefulness in the present (or forthcoming) economic situation and that of the functioning of the States.

Another factor is the large amount of finance which uncompetitive universities and training institutions lead ACP States and families to spend on establishments in the developed countries - whose diplomas guarantee the holders a wider market in the professional world.

The answer to problems of higher education and training in the ACP countries is by no means an easy one. Many a developed country has similar problems when it comes to changing systems and outlooks and bringing establishments more into line with the demands of the modern economy. But before coming to the internal resistance which interferes with certain trends in the developed countries, ACP universities and training establishments will have to espouse the spirit of healthy competition which makes for emulation. This is still a long way off in many ACP universities, where the slack approach to recruiting students and staff and the system of awarding diplomas is damaging to the future of training in general. It is by putting priority back on educational standards that the universities in most ACPs will be able to play their rightful part in training people for the needs of the economy and society. They have to raise the standard of teaching if they are not to discourage the best elements and they have to improve conditions of access and of study for potential undergraduates if they are not to put students from poorer backgrounds at a disadvantage.

Our Dossier aims to generate thought on the various issues in higher education and training in the ACP States. Applicants are increasing constantly, but the universities are offering fewer places and lower standards all the time. And the safety valves provided by establishments in the developed world are ever more costly and inaccessible to ACP families and States.

The effort put into education and the progress accomplished are of course considerable, bearing in mind the extent of the problems at the outset, but, as the various articles in this Dossier show, the quality of the whole system has to be improved.

Community aid to the education and training sector has of course kept pace with needs - but without closing the gap. And LomV makes it a priority.

Is there any need to point out that the nations with the best performances are those with the higher education and training systems which make the most efficient job of meeting economic, social and cultural targets?


Higher education and development

Unesco’s action for the advancement of higher education and research in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific

by Dumitru CHITORAN

The development of higher learning and the promotion of research through international co-operation have been major fields of action of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), ever since its foundation in 1946. As the specialised United Nations agency for education, science and culture, Unesco had its origin in the spirit of solidarity prevailing within the intellectual and scientific communities at the end of the Second World War. Universities played a leading role in the creation of that co-operative effort. In a very real sense, therefore, universities can be considered to be the Alma Mater of Unesco. Moreover, through their functions in teaching, training, research and service to the community, the universities cover the very areas which fall within the competence of Unesco and are, therefore, among its major partners in action.

In this special relationship between Unesco and higher eduction, the main shift of emphasis, by comparison to the period immediately following the Second World War, has been the orientation of the Organisation’s sustained contribution to the creation, strengthening and promotion of higher education and research capabilities in the developing countries. This task is particularly urgent today and was forcefully pointed out by the Director-General of Unesco when introducing the “ Priority: Africa Programme” at the General Conference of the Organisation in 1989: “ Unesco has a duty to direct its efforts first and foremost towards the poorest categories of humanity, those most in danger of succumbing to despair, those with least access to knowledge and those who are most vulnerable “.

The purpose of the present article is to outline succinctly the major problems confronting the countries of these regions, with regard to higher education and the training of highly skilled personnel, as viewed by Unesco, and to review briefly Unesco’s work in the field of higher education and research in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Finally, emphasis is placed on the need for concerted action by the international governmental and non-governmental organisations, development agencies and international aid foundations so as to assure greater efficiency of international effort.

The role of higher education in human resources development

In a world in which socio-economic development is becoming more knowledge-intensive and is relying increasingly on professional and managerial specialists with advanced training, the role of higher education becomes a crucial element for any development programme. This is especially true for developing countries. Higher education institutions play a key role in the advancement, transfer and application of new knowledge, in training the professional, technical and managerial staff, in forging the cultural identity and fostering democratic processes, while providing also an avenue for social mobility.

A recent World Conference on Education for All, organised jointly by Unesco, UNDP, UNICEF and the World Bank examined the overall issue of human resources development and the role of education and emphasised the part played by basic education and literacy in all efforts for national development. Higher education, however, is equally essential to the development process in the modern world. Without adequate institutions of higher learning and research, without access to such facilities beyond national frontiers, the developing countries cannot hope to master and apply the latest advances in science and technology, let alone to make their own contribution to scientific progress. It is only through the development of local skills and competences that they can reduce the gap separating them from the developed countries and thus reduce their dependence on external technical assistance.


Surveys of higher education in the developing countries reveal a paradoxical situation: on the one hand most countries have succeeded in implementing fairly evolved systems of higher education within a very short period of time after gaining their independence; on the other hand, they are facing at present, dramatic declines in the quality of their institutions and a constantly widening gap vis-is the industrially developed world with regard to scientific and technological know-how.

On the success side, mention must be made in the first place of the increase in student enrolments and in the proportion of the age-group admitted to higher education. According to Unesco statistics, the total number of students world-wide was estimated, in 1986, at around 58 million, more than double the figure of 1970. The increase has been much higher in the developing countries: from over 7 million in 1970, to little less than 27 million in 1986. By regions, the increase in enrolments has been the fastest and most important in Africa, from 401 000 in 1970, to 2059000 in 1986, i.e. a five-fold increase. Over the same period, student numbers grew from 1 640 000 to 6 784000 in Latin America and the Caribbean, and from 6 886 000 to 20 111 000 in Asia and the Pacific Region.

Progress has also been made in the diversification of programmes and institutions, in quality of course content and in the training of national university staff and in better adapting higher education to specific national and local needs. Standards in teaching and research at a number of institutions in developing countries have won international recognition. All these and other achievements have been obtained mainly through the effort and the resources of the developing countries themselves. International co-operation and assistance have, however, played a valuable role in augmenting the outcome of national inputs.

It is important to mention the desire and readiness of states in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to set up sub-regional and regional collaborative institutions and programmes. This capacity to go beyond national concerns is particularly valuable in the effort to raise the quality of higher learning and of research. There exist in Africa several regional and subregional research centres in key areas such as agriculture, health, teacher training, staff development and the production of educational materials. The University of the West Indies and the University of the South Pacific, are, in their turn examples of regional institutions created by a consortium of countries. They illustrate fully the great potential offered by regional collaborative efforts in higher education, wherever lack of resources, lack of critical mass of students, faculty, and above all, the limitations of scale imposed by the economic sector require such a solution.

The opening up towards regional co-operation has gone hand-in-hand with the preoccupation for nation building and the forging of the cultural identity of the newly established states as well as for fostering democratic processes in the respective societies. The universities in the developing countries have become powerful symbols of independence, and in that capacity, they have been called upon to play a major role in diversifying the intellectual climate of society, in instilling new values, and in providing independent and informed opinions to policy makers and the public at large. Throughout Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, universities have been and are fulfilling this mission with great dedication on behalf of students and staff alike.

Major needs and challenges

The positive developments mentioned above are, however, overshadowed by a decline in quality of dramatic proportions, and the search for remedies, which depends on a wide range of factors, is highly complex.

The first and most formidable challenge facing higher education in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (and this is true of the rest of the developing world) is to try to reconcile the constantly rising demands made on higher education with the diminishing resources placed at its disposal. Increasing enrolments are a positive trend, but the four-fold increase in the low-income countries, the ten-fold increase in the lower-middle income countries and the ninefold increase in the upper-middle income countries have not been accompanied by concomitant budgetary allocations. On the contrary, in many cases, the latter have been cut, sometimes drastically, under pressure for saving on public spending and as a result of the heavy burden of foreign debts. Existing resources and facilities have been stretched beyond the minimal levels of effectiveness, with declining effects on the quality of teaching and research. Universities are forced to function with larger classes and with inadequate facilities (shortage of books and journals, poorly equipped laboratories, etc.). Student/teacher ratios have worsened. Teachers have reason to complain about their status and salaries.

Much of the expansion has taken place in arts and social science programmes, simply because such programmes are less expensive to staff and cheaper to equip and run than science and technology ones. In fact, this trend has its origins at the secondary level of education where, because of a shortage of good science teachers and the necessary physical facilities, the schools prepare an overwhelming majority of pupils for higher education in fields other than science. The pressure of increasing enrolments and lack of funding, has also led to diversion of resources away from postgraduate studies and from research.

The prospects for the future do not give rise to much optimism. The young represent a higher percentage of the total population in the developing countries than in the developed ones. Increasing numbers of these young people successfully complete secondary education and seek admission to higher studies. However, the average annual rate of growth in student enrolments, despite the increases in total numbers mentioned above, has actually declined.

In Africa it has slowed down from 14.2% for the 1960-1980 period to 8.2% from 1980 onwards. Population forecasts, together with other demographic trends in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific indicate that the social demand for higher education in these regions will continue to grow.

Even those who actually pursue and complete higher education studies do not feel secure with regard to employment. Unplanned growth, coupled with the fact that curricula and research topics often lack relevance to the economic, social and cultural situation in the countries concerned, reduce the chances of employment. There is overproduction of graduates in some disciplines and underproduction precisely in those areas which are regarded as key factors to national development. A paradoxical situation has resulted whereby the number of unemployed graduates in Africa is extremely high, including medical, engineering, architecture, accountancy and education graduates. No wonder, then, that many of those most highly qualified seek employment elsewhere, feeding a brain drain which has assumed alarming proportions. Simultaneously there is large-scale employment of expatriate specialists in various sectors. In 1988, there were 80 000 foreign experts involved in technical assistance in 40 sub-Saharan countries alone. Conversely, it is estimated that, between 1984 and 1987, 30 000 African graduates left their countries and work mostly in the industrially developed countries.

UNESCO’s programme in the field of higher education

Most of Unesco’s programmes have direct links with universities or systems of higher education. It is difficult, in the limited space of an article to give a comprehensive review of all these links. What follows, therefore, is more a series of examples.

Unesco concentrates on promoting regional and interregional co-operation in higher education, through its own regional centres and offices and by helping launch various networks or consortium-type arrangements which operate under the responsibility of participating institutions or of nongovernmental higher education organisations. A separate set of activities concern specialised training and support for self-sustained development in science, engineering and technology. Unesco has decentralised many of its activities relating to higher education; this presentation will focus on Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.


In Africa, Unesco’s regional activities are carried out through its Regional Bureau for Education in Africa. In 1987, a Regional Advisory Committee on Higher Education in Africa was established. In the field of science, the Regional Office for Science and Technology for Africa (ROSTA) has initiated a co-operative network, the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI), with the task of promoting training and research in the participating institutions. Some 20 sub-networks have been established within ANSTI, linking scholars in selected subjects. Staff training (through fellowships, seminars and workshops) as well as joint research projects and the publication of the African Journal of Science and Technology are among its main achievements. ANSTI has gained international recognition as an instrument for successful regional co-operation aimed particularly at enhancing research capabilities and developing postgraduate programmes on a subregional basis. In addition to Unesco’s funds, it is supported by UNDP and a number of international aid agencies and foundations.

A special programme for the countries of the Africa region entitled “ Priority: Africa “ was created by the twenty-fifth session of the Unesco General Conference held in Paris during October/November 1989. Extending over the period 1990-1995, “Priority: Africa” fits into the context of the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development (UNPAAERD) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1986, and is aimed at fostering the development of the Member States of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) within Unesco’s spheres of competence. Those African countries which have greater resources are expected to be associated to the programme not only as beneficiaries, but also as contributors in the context of technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC). The programme appeals for contributions from all Member States of Unesco, as well as from the funding institutions of the UN system, in particular the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“Priority: Africa” takes full account of the fact that young African universities have felt the full impact of the financial constraints of the countries in the region which are suffering from grave economic problems. Accordingly, it makes important provisions for assistance in the area of higher education. They are reflected in the Special Programme for the Improvement of Higher Education in Africa, which is currently under consideration by UNDP. The Special Programme is being designed as a set of activities to be implemented under a regional co-operation mechanism. By bringing modulated support to national, sub-regional and regional efforts, it seeks to encourage the pooling and joint utilisation of the skills and capacities of the African institutions of higher education.

At national level, the Special Programme for Higher Education seeks to strengthen national capacities for the preparation and distribution of appropriate study programmes and teaching materials, to develop and enhance human resources and to ensure the more effective dovetailing of training and research activities.

At sub-regional level, the Special Programme seeks to promote: improved integration of higher education into the economic context; specific training and research programmes taking as the frame of reference not frontiers and national states but major natural regions such as the Sahel, forest zones, etc.; the establishment of programme-based networks instead of institutional networks which will make it possible to bring together, around selected programmes, teams working in a number of countries on common global objectives. The Special Programme aims to strengthen the scientific and technological potential of a number of higher education institutions which already enjoy a certain reputation for their expertise in the relevant fields and can, thus, act as centres of excellence to foster common use of resources for training, for the production of teaching materials and for the development of interdisciplinary training and research activities. The Special Programme will, therefore, assist in the setting-up and operation of five programme-based networks, including two in West Africa (Sahel region and forest region), one in Central Africa, one in East Africa and one in southern Africa. Each programme network will be supported by a centre of advanced specialised studies and research possibly based around the Unesco chairs described further on in this article, to be established in the respective sub-regions.

The Caribbean

Unesco’s regional programe for this part of the world covers Latin America and the Caribbean as a single geographical region. The programme does take into account however the differences between the countries of Latin America and those of the Caribbean in a variety of ways.

Activities in the higher education sub-sector, reviewed both by the General Conference of Unesco and by the periodic conferences of the Ministers of Education in the region are carried out mainly through the Regional Centre for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (CRESALC). The Centre’s programme, shaped following recommendations by its Advisory Committee involves distinguished academics and focuses on institutional development, technical assistance and information exchange. CRESALC co-operates closely with the university associations in the region, including the Union Universidades Amca Latina, the Organizacion Universitaria Inter-Americana, and the Association of Caribbean Universities Research Institutes.

Unesco’s Caribbean Network of Educational Innovation for Development plays a special role in helping link individuals, institutions and programmes in the countries of the subregion, while also facilitating their access to regional networks.

The Pacific Region

Unesco’s programme for the whole of Asia and the Pacific is carried out mainly by its Principal Office for Asia and the Pacific, located in Bangkok, Thailand. Higher education activities are heavily supported by UNDP and concentrate on case studies, on policies and practices in innovation and curriculum reform, distance higher education, further training of university teaching staff and training of university administrators. One of the most successful programmes has been the network linking 70 universities, research institutions and other higher education establishments in 17 Asian Member States, including countries in the Pacific Region. Since its inception in 1983, three consortia have been founded around three specific areas: innovation in higher education; policy, planning and management of higher education; and special research studies on higher education. A Unesco Office for the Pacific States, located in Western Samoa, covers higher education among its fields of action, and has focused on the particular needs of small states.

In the field of distance education Unesco was instrumental in the creation of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) with programmes serving several hundred thousand students in the region. The Regional Resource Centre in Distance Education and the bilateral and multilateral co-operation established between the member institutions of AAOU have facilitated the joint production of video programmes and the establishment of a Master’s Degree course in human environment. Distance education techniques acquire a particularly important role in assuring higher education training to young people in the Pacific Islands. Unesco’s constant support extended to the University of the South Pacific (in conjunction with the Commonwealth Secretariat) has the same purpose in mind.

The international dimension of higher education

Knowledge being universal, its pursuit, advancement and dissemination can only be achieved through the collective effort of the international community of scholars. Hence, the inherent international dimension of universities, as the recognised seats of higher learning and advanced research. International co-operation is a goal and a mode of action shared by the world academic community; moreover it is a sine qua nor’ for assuring quality and efficiency in the functioning of each and every institution of higher education. National authorities in charge of higher education and the institutions themselves are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages and, indeed, of the need for such co-operation as a way of sharing resources, of having access to and of bringing their own contribution to the advancement of knowledge, and of promoting the mobility of students, teachers and researchers. Inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations which are active in the field of higher education have, in turn, adopted programmes meant to encourage inter-university co-operation at the bilateral, regional and international levels.


It is in line with the above requirements, fully recognised by its Member States, that Unesco is launching a concerted international plan of action for strengthening inter-university cooperation, with particular emphasis on support for higher education in developing countries. The key feature of this plan is the development of a spirit of solidarity, based on twinning and other linking arrangements among universities. Hence the acronym chosen for the programme: UNITWIN.

The main goals of UNITWIN are: - to give a fresh impetus to twinning and other linking arrangements between higher education institutions in the industrially developed and the developing countries;

- to help establish sub-regional, regional and inter-regional networks of higher education and research institutions;

- to develop, by agreement among institutions in the developing countries and with concerted international support centres for specialised studies and advanced research which would serve training and research needs across national frontiers. Such centres of excellence will be built through networks of twinned universities, having a system of Unesco university chairs as their nucleus.

Some activities which are foreseen as components of UNITWIN have already been initiated. Thus a large-scale programme for research on higher education management and for the training of key university administrators has already been started, with Africa and the Caribbean regions being given priority. Unesco’s network for staff development in higher education for Latin America and the Caribbean (REDESLAC) will be reinforced and action is now directed in support of institutional and staff development in Africa as well, with the ultimate aim of setting up a similar network (or a number of interlocking subregional networks) in the region. Agreements for the establishment of several Unesco chairs have already been signed. One of them is the Chair in Nutrition, Health and Child Development at Kenyatta University, in Nairobi.

A large-scale programme (complementary to what Unesco has been doing in this field through its Coupons system and through the imaginative action of the Third World Academy of Sciences) is aimed at supporting university and scientific libraries in the developing countries with books, periodicals and other materials, and to develop self-sustainable capabilities in book production and teaching/learning aids in the developing countries.

Progress is also well underway in designing distance higher education programmes (the success of the Asian programme has already been mentioned), given the great possibilities offered by the very rapid advances in telecommunications and in information technologies.

Recognition of higher education qualifications

The mutual recognition of higher education studies, diplomas and degrees fosters mobility, allows for a more efficient use of training and research facilities across national frontiers, while also facilitiating the return to their own countries of specialists trained abroad. Since 1974 six regional conventions, which cover all regions of the world have been adopted under the aegis of Unesco (including Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific). Preparatory work is under way with a view to adopting an international convention.

The need for co-ordination of international development assistance

The difficulties facing higher education in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (and elsewhere throughout the developing world) call, in the first place for appropriate measures and efforts to be made by the respective states themselves. Beset as they are with serious socio-economic problems, bearing the burden of heavy foreign debts, these countries will not find it easy to divert significant resources towards higher education. And yet, there seems to be no other way. One of the explanations for the great disparity in economic and technological progress between the developed countries and the developing ones resides in the reduced educational opportunities and facilities of the latter, particularly at higher levels. Developing their own scientific and technological capabilities is one way of escaping dependence and reducing poverty for the developing countries. There seems to be a new convergence of thinking in the international community about the centrality of human resources development, as evidenced by the latest Human Development Report, issued recently by UNDP.

International assistance to the developing countries for enhancing their high-level training and research capabilities becomes, in light of the above, crucial for development programmes at the national, sub-regional or regional levels. Considerable international aid was granted to the newly established states in order to develop higher education immediately after gaining their independence. The 1970s and the 1980s then witnessed a decrease in such assistance. It is, therefore, most encouraging to see that the international community at large, the international organisations and the development agencies and foundations attach once again due importance to development programmes in higher education and research.

Moreover, there is growing awareness of the need to co-ordinate such international assistance. Since international aid programmes are very often complementary, they can be consolidated and expanded through co-operation. The advantages are obvious: the pooling of resources, particularly when they are as hard to come by as now; avoidance of overlapping and duplication; better identification of projects and increased assurance of their validity through collective agreement and review. More importantly, a multilateral framework of co-operation offers the beneficiaries a wider choice of inputs for particular projects, and reduces the danger of dependence on imported models.

Unesco is fully committed to wide co-operation with potential partners in assisting the developing countries in its areas of competence. In the field of higher education it co-operates closely not only with the other agencies of the UN system (serving for instance as an executing agency for a large number of UNDP programmes), but also with a wide range of inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations.

The LomV Convention includes provisions for assisting the States of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific in areas which are also the concern of Unesco and of other international agencies: enhancing indigenous capacities for scientific and technological development; drawing up and implementing research and development programmes, setting up and expanding training and educational establishments, particularly those of a regional nature; initiation of associations, twinning, exchanges and transfers of technology between universities and institutions of higher education in the African, Caribbean and the Pacific States and in the Community, etc. This complementarily provides a common ground for possible co-operation between Unesco, the EEC and the State Parties to the LomV Convention in the field of higher education, whose development is so important for the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Unesco is ready to co-operate closely with the EEC and with the State Parties to the LomV Convention, in these and other areas, with the conviction that it is only in that manner that the needs of harmonious development of the world can be served best.


The University and development in sub-Saharan Africa - the case of Makerere in Uganda

by Professor W.S. KAJUBI

In recent years, universities the world over and especially those in sub-Saharan Africa have been targets of criticism. They have been labelled as Ivory Towers: being in Africa but still clinging to the models of the former colonial powers; being citadels of privilege; sumptuous consumers of scarce resources; the elitist monopoly of a very few.

These are strong (one might even say harsh) words. In this brief article, I do not intend to support or refute them. Instead, I want to look at Makerere (one of the older University institutions in the sub-Sahara) as an example of an African University and discuss its origin, development, objectives, achievements and problems.

In doing so and in order to justify the title of this paper, I would have liked to assume observations about Makerere would also apply to its sister institutions such as Ibadan in Nigeria, Legon in Ghana, Khartoum in Sudan, all of them in sub-Saharan African, and others in the British Commonwealth such as Mona in the West Indies, but this would be too presumptuous. Except for their origins, by the initiative of the British Colonial Government, and their special relationships with the University of London, circumstances have changed since the early sixties when the “ Wind of Change “ created many independent states which have adopted various and different strategies towards the education of their people. Ibadan has nearly 20 sister University institutions to serve Nigeria; Legon has 3; and Kenya, which in 1964 had only one University College, now has four Public University institutions and Tanzania is planning for a third University not to mention the possibility of an Open University.

If what is discussed here about Makerere relates to situations in other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, therefore, it will be only by the inference of the reader through his own knowledge and experience and not a result of my empirical study or experience.

Origins of universities

It should be observed that in the development of the Colonies and Protectorates in British Africa, education was not a priority, at least in the initial stages. In the case of Uganda, although the Protectorate was established in the period 1890-1900, the Protectorate Government did not intervene in matters of education until the period 1922-25 with the establishment of Makerere in 1922 and a Department of Education in 1925. The priorities of the Colonial Government at that time being, quite understandably, to ensure security and firm borders, to establish viable local administrations and a firm economic base by the introduction of cash crops (coffee, cotton, tea) and to open up the vast terrain between the Indian Ocean and the Mountains of the Moon necessitating spectacular ventures such as the construction of the Uganda Railways and later the Owen Falls - the hydro-electric station at the source of the Nile.

In the meantime, fortunately, missionaries had established a number of schools initially to vie for influence among the Princes and the nobility in Buganda, but eventually for the evangelisation of the whole population.

It must be said to the credit of the colonial governments that once they awoke to the role that education was to play, they embarked on this task with energy, so that by 1962 when Uganda became independent, there was a strong network of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions which had made Uganda one of the most literate and educated nations in Africa and an example of a harmonious partnership between the state and the missions in matters of social development such as education and health.


When Makerere was thus established in 1922, it was not to rival the mission secondary schools such as Namilyango, Gayaza, Budo and Kisubi which had already gained fame. Makerere was to be at the summit and it had stated objectives. First of all, it had to be a social melting pot; “a place”, according to Sir Philip Mitchell, a former Governor of the Protectorate and a strong supporter of higher education in East Africa, “where there shall be provision alike for the sons of the greatest in the land and the poorest”.

Very soon for Makerere that “ land “ was not just Uganda. It covered also Kenya and Tanzania and the Makerere University Register for the period 1922 - 54 is a “ Who’s Who” for East Africa and Central Africa and a portion of Southern Sudan. It includes big names in the cabinets, industry and public services of East and Central Africa.

The other objectives of Makerere were embodied again in a later statement by Sir Philip Mitchell. In December 1934, he was able to pledge that: “ ... as far as in us lies, we shall, under Providence, establish a College open to all of whatever race who wish to make use of it, in which the ideals of freedom and justice, of public service and scholarship may become securely established”.

In its over 65 years of existence, Makerere has pursued these ideals; it has been open to all comers who are qualified; it has dedicated itself to public service and it has pursued the ideals of scholarship. As for the “ ideals of freedom and justice”, let others in Africa throw the Biblical “ first stone “.

High-level manpower

In pursuance of these objectives, Makerere started as a technical school to train artisans who were very much in demand especially after the First World War, but very soon it became necessary according to its mission to be at the summit, for it to offer a variety of high level courses in education, agriculture, and medicine and to send the graduates of these courses to the various parts of East and Central Africa. They were not always accepted as equals to the European and Asian professionals but they made their significant contributions, especially in territories where racial segregation was not endemic. In any case, at independence, these Makerere men and women were available to man the Civil and other services. In retrospect, we now appreciate that Makerere produced too few and even today, for example, many years after medical education was introduced, there is in Uganda only one doctor for 13 500 persons and most of them concentrated in urban areas which account for only 7 % of the population. The pressure to increase output in these areas is great and it is not only doctors that are required. Uganda (and all Africa) needs agriculturalists, industrialists, educators, administrators. While Makerere makes efforts to train in all these areas, its resources are spread very thin.


From its inception Makerere appreciated the importance of research. It is through research that problems are identified, priorities determined and success or failure is measured. A national plan which is not backed by research becomes haphazard and directionless. Through various initiatives of Makerere its research projects in medicine, agriculture, veterinary medicine and the social sciences laid firm foundations for research in Eastern and Central Africa. The then Makerere University College created a Research Council which received funds through the college regular budget and this persists up to today. Also through the East African Medical Research Council, the Colonial Medical Research Committee, the Cancer Research Funds and the British Empire Cancer Campaign, an intensive programme of cancer research was initiated at the College Medical School in Mulago with important results. The Cancer Registry continued a full-scale survey of Kampala and continues its work at Mulago today producing statistics which have opened up many lines of research Mr. Burkett’s work on Lymphosarcomas became famous worldwide as did Professor Karim’s work on Postglandis. A lot of work has been done on malnutrition. Endomyocardial fibrosis was first identified at the Makerere Medical School and Bilharzia, which is a scourge along the Upper Nile Valley, has received serious attention at Makerere.

Similar initiatives and successes can be recorded in agriculture, agricultural engineering and the social sciences.

Current issues in higher education

If we turn to the very beginning of this article where we summarised the accusations against the present day University in Africa, we can also as we end the article single out the issue in today’s higher education. The examples concern Makerere and Uganda but they can be generalised to cover a lot of sub-Saharan Africa.

Access to higher education

I have already pointed out that even when we used to serve all East and Central Africa, we were sending out only small numbers and that even today we are not meeting the manpower demands of Uganda.

We are therefore a monopoly of a very few. We have an enrolment of just under 5000 undergraduate students. Although a second public University is being established in Mbarara, (Western Region), and an externally funded Islamic University operates in Mbale in the Eastern Region, in terms of size, scope, and international reputation, Makerere remains by far the most significant centre of higher learning to serve a country with 18 million people. We have cogent reasons for this stunted growth but the issue remains that we are too few for the requirements of the nation.

The Government of Uganda has just published “ Manpower and Employment in Uganda” (a report of the national manpower survey 1989) and on page XIV paragraph 13, it is stated that the total number of vacancies of skilled manpower, as reported by employers, was 33 448 “the highest number being in the skill category of technicians and associate professionals (38%) who normally are produced by the University and other tertiary institutions. Makerere has an optimum capacity for 10 000 students, but to reach there the capital expenditure alone (not to mention recurrent costs of salaries, wages, consumables) is way beyond the reach of the nation at the moment. The country will thus continue to depend on technical assistance from all over the world which is a very expensive mode of providing required manpower for Uganda or any other country.

Preparations are nearing completion for admissions for the 1990-91 academic year; from the schools we have 5000 prospective students (those who are eligible and qualified to enter the University), but we have room only for 2000 students. In this question of access to University education, there is the issue of intake for women. In the total enrolment of nearly 5000, we have only 1023 women students (a ratio of I woman to 4 men). The NRM Government has worked wonders in boosting the morale of women in easing access to Parliament, in the creation of a Ministry for Women in Development, and so on, but if the University is only producing 356 women degree holders a year, even in 100 years, women will still be behind in education and therefore other forms of development will be delayed.

Financing higher education

The African university has been accused of consuming scarce resources. This is true; in Africa, hard currency is a strategic resource even more strategic than a tanker or a gun and yet this is what the university exists upon. In the early days, staff were expatriate and the bulk of the salaries were paid in foreign exchange; even today most of our book requirements, stationery, all laboratory equipment and consumables not to mention vehicles, medicines and building materials require millions of dollars. With the falling prices of coffee, tea and cotton, the country will not find it easy to restore the university to its former heights, let alone to promote its expansion. For Uganda, because of our recent history, even the local currency is scarce and we do not always receive our budgetary requirements. We have just emerged from two strikes - one of students and before that, of members of staff. The students struck because Government had withdrawn pocket-money, travelling and stationery allowances. Government still pays a capitation grant of 2 billion shillings (at 40 000/ - or US$ 100 per student) to run the University. The Government thus meets full tuition and residential costs. The question in many African nations even to-day is: should the state bear this burden and alone?

The brain drain

The greatest resource of any country is contained in the brains of its trained people their ingenuity, resourcefulness and hard productive work. Since 1971, Uganda has suffered a crippling outflow of its high level manpower to other countries. During the past regimes, many professionals left not only because of insecurity and the lack of certain fundamental freedoms, but also in search of more verdant pastures - to get away from severe shortages of essential commodities and amenities. While by and large, peace and tranquility is being restored, economic problems are still looming large. For example, before the staff strike in the middle of 1989, a Professor at Makerere was being paid a maximum of Shs. 10000 (or US $ 25) per month at today’s official rate of exchange). The Government conceded that that was not a living wage, and in addition to the monthly salary of Shs. 10000 for a Professor an unpensionable allowance of Shs. 40 000 is also now payable (i.e. a total of US $ 125 a month). Although, the university in addition provides free housing, these emoluments are still depressingly low, and have led to a persistent brain drain.

It is the stated policy of the World Bank that African countries must be helped to make their exports (coffee, tea, cotton, copper, etc.) cheap and competitive in the world market but inadvertently the Ugandan academic is now among the cheapest export commodity, and this has brought about a brain drain which like the slave trade of old threatens the existence and survival of African nations. In the period 1986-89, Ugandan academics left the services of the university, 18 of them Professors; 34 of them holders of Ph. D. degrees and all of them leaving debilitating vacancies in critical areas in university teaching, research and service. The mere prospect of a Pajero Car and a few dollars have made our most valuable commodity jump out into the open world, some of them with UN agencies here in Uganda but the majority in other parts of Africa, Europe and North America. With Namibia, South Africa, and Eastern Europe opening up and all in need of qualified personnel, not only Uganda but all Africa must shudder.

We shudder but cannot despair. Our mission and raison d’e is to build for the future. We cannot afford to wait for the future to rebuild us. We need a “Marshall Plan” for the African University which is now a threatened species. Since 1985, with the emergence of the National Resistance Movement, there is now a firm national government. It is true there is still a limited resurgence in the North East but the rest of the country is calm.

Rehabilitation efforts

It is obvious that Government is using its resources to advantage; the trunk roads are now a pleasure to ride on; industries have still far to go but they are awakening to the market forces and potential; agricultural production is expanding and improving despite current unfavourable world market prices, but it has to be recognised that these growth areas cannot move ahead without trained manpower. Attention must therefore be paid to the rehabilitation of educational institutions and the starting point must be the teachers and workers in these institutions, including the University. An international policy which encourages an exodus of professionals cannot be tolerated.

In the University we are putting in motion measures which will increase access to university education by increasing intake in a variety of ways: we are restoring the 30% cut which was effected in 1982 because of the delapidated plant which could not carry the load at the time.

Major constraints of delapidated physical facilities and other resource inadequacies are being systematically tackled. The EEC has helped Makerere to make a major breakthrough with a programme focusing on the following priorities:

1. The rehabilitation of teaching and research facilities in the Faculties of Medicine, Science and Education.

2. Construction of new staff houses, revitalising the exchange of staff with other universities and also to attract and retain local staff.

3. The improvement of library resources for study and research.

4. Rehabilitation and equipping of the University printery with modern machinery.

5. Staff development programmes, and

6. Assistance to the university estates and works maintenance unit.

The current EEC project with Makerere involving, in all, ECU 8 m is an example of an integrated approach to rehabilitation and development.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has done a remarkable job in restoring not only the Faculty of Agriculture and its Farm at Kabanyolo, but the Agricultural Research Stations at Kabanyolo and Namulonge. Plans are afoot by the Government of Federal Republic of Germany for the improvement of facilities in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and its newly acquired farm at Buyana, and the Italian Government has started work on the Faculty of Technology.

Makerere, like many other universities in sub-Saharan Africa, was meant to be a residential university; this is a costly policy, and while we value the opportunity for Ugandans (of all religions and ethnic origins) to live together during the most critical and formative years of life, it is now policy that admissions will be governed by teaching and laboratory capacity and not residential capacity. We are thus now resigned to a large number of our students being non-resident although we know that Kampala for a long time will not be able to carry this load.

In order to increase enrolment, the University has decided to open up evening classes for residents of Kampala and its environs, for degree courses that are amenable to this mode of teaching. By October 1990, with the help of the Commonwealth of Learning we propose to start courses in Commerce and Education by distance learning. We need help from whatever other sources exist for the successful launching of distance education, for teaching materials, studies, travel and so on. The University Centre for Continuing Education is in charge of this Programme.

The paucity of women candidates entering the University is a serious problem which we also intend to tackle in this period. The University Senate has adopted some measures which should increase the female intake from the present 24 % to about 34 % but the problem is nationwide as schools must also increase their enrolment and output.


Higher education in sub-Saharan Africa: crisis in growth or structural crisis?

by Jacques GIRI

Spectacular growth

Higher education is certainly one of the fastest evolving aspects of societies in sub-Saharan Africa, with the 20 000 students of 1960 up to around 500 000 by the end of the eighties and almost twice as many teachers in African higher education now as there were students in 1960.

Over the last three decades, both states and aid agencies clearly put top priority on developing education systems in general and higher education in particular and, in this, the states were doing no more than reflecting that very common attitude of African societies whereby education on Western lines and higher education especially, are the keys to social success and high incomes. Paper qualifications were seen as the way into “ modern “ society and in particular in many countries, to that most coveted part of it - the civil service.

However, in spite of spectacular progress, the level of attainment (in quantitative terms) remains limited. While South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines have populations of 40-60 million and more than I million students each, sub-Saharan Africa, with its 500 million people and 500000 students, lags far behind. Nor is the gap due solely to different levels of economic development; the per capita GNP in Thailand and the Philippines is comparable to that of Cd’Ivoire and Cameroon.

This twofold assessment reveals both the amount of ground that has been covered and the gap that exists between the sub-continent of Africa and the newly industrialised and industrialising countries of Asia.

Development fails to follow growth

This dual assessment is made in the context of the crisis economic first and foremost, but affecting many other aspects of society and posing many other questions - which has struck almost all African nations and from which there seems no clear way out.

The African tes which took power at the dawn of independence saw educational development as a necessary condition for a modern society and its economic foundation. But the considerable effort the continent has made with its education since 1960 has borne little fruit and it has been clear for some years now that the essential basis was unsatisfactory and that the effort has failed to generate the anticipated economic improvement. In the face of multiple short-term problems, most African states have, since the early eighties tended to put less priority on teaching but it is primary rather than higher education which has tended to bear the brunt.

The crisis has led African society to question the aims of the education system. Teaching is becoming less and less the gateway to modern society but the crowd of diploma-holders, graduates included, standing at that gateway is constantly increasing. Many families have made what are sometimes great sacrifices to have their children educated. Those without large incomes are now wondering whether there is any point if all they are doing is swelling the dole queue or turning out youngsters whose only prospects are jobs in the informal sector which bear little relation to the training they have received.

Is this an ordinary growth crisis? Is it wrong to expect the efforts ploughed into education to bring rapid results? Won’t they bear fruit in the longer term, once further progress has been made with school attendance levels? If so, then the efforts must be pursued.

Or is it a more structural crisis? Have the efforts been misguided? If so, the education systems will have to be rethought, perhaps radically.

Education systems too expensive and unsuitable

There has been no shortage of criticism of African education, particularly higher education, over the past few years. The complaints are, by and large, that the systems turn out too many graduates with doubtful qualifications of even more doubtful use and that they do so at a high cost that is beyond the means of the national economies. A common question is whether it is reasonable for most African states to spend around 20% of their education budgets on higher education courses attended by less than 1% of the student population. Might it not be more efficient to allocate resources differently?

Some observers say the African education crisis is only just beginning. The effect of the obvious decline in the standards of basic schooling in most of the countries over the past few years will be felt by youngsters embarking on higher education tomorrow, bringing about a decline in standards at that level, too.

Africa seems to be in a web of contradictions:

· It has a problem of financial resources. The states do not have the means to plough any more into their systems of education and they have the twin problem of the quantity (only a fraction of any age group is involved in education) and quality of the teaching provided. The answer to this is to increase resources. In the main, higher education budgets go on teachers’ salaries and student grants, leaving establishments with very little to buy and operate equipment: an increase in the latter is needed if standards are to improve.

· It trains technicians and teams who are suitable for modern, high-productivity economies but quite out of keeping with low-productivity economies where the informal sector is constantly gaining ground. Typical examples are the agronomists who fail to find a niche in low output agricultural systems. Their skills are unused, while dependence on imported foods increases all the time and Africa loses shares in world markets to South-East Asia.

The World Bank was no doubt right in its report on prospects in sub-Saharan Africa (published in 1989) to say that “radical measures” were called for, to raise the standard of education, lower the cost per student and per graduate, keep down numbers in disciplines which did not make for economic development and lighten the State’s load by obtaining a bigger contribution from recipients and their families. But will such radical measures remove the contradictions? And are African societies ready to accept this new aspect of structural adjustment?

Perhaps it would be a good idea first to try to understand the part played by the education systems set up by the colonial powers and considerably developed by the independent states and to see how this has differed from what has been done in other parts of the world.

A problem of society

It may be helpful to start by pointing out that economic growth in the industrialised world was the result of a host of minor improvements in productivity built up over decades. In the early days of the industrial revolution, education made but a small contribution to these improvements and innovations stemmed more from improvisation than from design. But there was at the same time a by no means fortuitous correlation between those parts of Europe with the highest literacy rates and those where the industrial revolution first emerged and spread.

In later stages, education systems provided people with a training which encompassed the advances in knowledge and know-how, making it possible to build economies in which techniques were increasingly complex and efficient, and paving the way for further improvements in productivity. Observers who have now been looking at the tie-up between education and the economy in most of the industrialised countries for more than a century have regularly complained about the discrepancy between the products of one and the needs of the other. But the gap has not, apparently, been unduly wide, as the economies have more or less continued to expand, irrespective of any shortcomings in the education systems. Education systems are the offspring of their own societies. They resemble them, reproduce at least in part their dis-functions and contradictions, and are involved in their movement, contributing to a greater or lesser extent to social change.

Some of the customers of the education system, higher education especially, are moved by a desire for greater culture while many others seek social promotion and a better income. The “ invisible hand “ described by Adam Smith has ensured that all these individual efforts have together resulted in the level of development we see today.

But matters were somewhat different in sub-Saharan Africa. During the colonial era, the elites were educated in Western systems. Members of such elites owed much of their personal success to their passage through such systems and it is easy to see why they placed priority on providing the next generation with a carbon copy of something which had served them so well. It is also easy to see why, after independence, priority was given, de facto, to creating education systems, and particularly higher education systems, along French or British lines.

It was not that there was a gap between education and society. There was an abyss - an immense abyss - between the education system borrowed from Europe and the long isolated, highly structured societies based on other values and ways of life which colonisation had barely begun to dismantle. It was greater, certainly, than in most of the Asian societies, whose history was different.

This education system produced scientists, technicians, economists etc., some of them properly trained and others less so, but in either case, trained for a Western-style economy geared to sustained development.

For a time, perhaps in the sixties and early part of the seventies, it might have seemed that such expectations were justified. Africa created authorities, banks and industries which opened their doors to the young professionals which the system produced. The movement appeared to be self-sustaining, calling for and employing the increasing numbers arriving on the job market. And it would have been reasonable to think that the very existence of more and more professionals trained to cater for the needs of the modern society would help sustain economic growth.

But this is not what happened. In the seventies, growth slowed in most countries and, in the eighties, the superficially modern societies of sub-Saharan Africa declined and in some cases collapsed altogether. Informal activity flourished in every sector - in trade, transport and crafts and even in small industries and banking. There was a burgeoning of initiative outside the formal framework and of low-productivity activities in general. Some of this work was survival activity and could not really have been formal, but others easily could have been and it was the people involved who deliberately decided to stay outside the existing framework. So now it is the informal sector which largely dominates employment in the townships of Africa.

These unforeseen developments meant that the education system was to some extent marginalised. The abyss between society and education prevented Adam Smith’s “ invisible “ hand from playing its part. Not only has the education system failed to lead African societies to economic growth. It is also increasingly divorced from social needs which have not developed towards the Western model.

What education for development?

Education systems cannot be reformed in Africa today without casting doubt on the plans African societies have made for themselves.

Over the past three decades, Africa has sought to build a modern society without really having the means to do so - i.e. without increased human productivity or at least without a sufficient increase. Its main aim has been to have the right image, to have the trappings of a modern society, with factories, infrastructure and public services, serviced by education systems which are more symbolic than practical as a means of boosting productivity. It has financed this with agricultural and mining income where it has existed, and foreign aid where it has not. The eighties provided ample proof that the seemingly soundest of incomes were fragile, that foreign aid was subject to fatigue and that neither was a basis for a modern society.

The real basis, whatever the type of society, can only be more efficient people - not just isolated individuals, but the vast majority of the population. The whole of the education system, from the basics through to higher study, has to be revised with this in mind, to bring it closer to society and to bridge the abyss which currently exists. And this means far more than just cutting costs or improving efficiency; indeed going as far as putting a great deal more emphasis on basic education and bringing it closer to the human communities for which it is intended.

Are the African elites ready to learn from the experience of the past three decades? Are they ready to undertake such reflection and question the types of society they have more or less implicitly formed over this period? Doubt has been cast on many things in sub-Saharan Africa in recent times, from the role of the state to the dogma of the single party. The projected reforms of education, higher education especially, have come up against particularly strong resistance - stronger than as regards other reforms provided for by the structural adjustment programmes. This is understandable since diplomas virtually legitimise the present ruling elites and their standard of living. It is easy to see why they are unwilling to abandon the system. And that is a key issue for the future of the subcontinent.


Education and training in the Caribbean

by Gerald C. LALOR

The region served by the University of the West Indies (UWI) extends from Belize on the Central American mainland in a wide arc, through the islands which delineate the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean, to Trinidad and Tobago just off the Venezuelan coast - and further south to Guyana on the mainland of South America. The total population of the region is only about 5.6 million but as shown in Table 1, many of the island countries are densely populated with; relatively low per capita domestic products.

The distances between countries can be quite large: Nassau, in the Bahamas, is 950 miles from Belize City, Belize, and some 1800 miles from Port of Spain, Trinidad. Transportation between the countries is reasonably good but can be time-consuming, even by air.

Recent years have been difficult for most of the countries and the level of external debt is very high indeed. Falling profits in the agricultural sector have been a burden and, despite heroic efforts, it is becoming no easier to meet many of the basic needs of the increasing populations. Prices for low technology products and raw materials are generally low and substitute materials threaten the markets for traditional products, while computer-assisted manufacturing and robotics erode many of the advantages of cheap labour. These all make quality education even more essential but problems of scale and inadequate finances have made its provision difficult. However, to some extent these problems have encouraged the sharing of educational resources at the university level across the region.

Caribbean educational systems

As a consequence of centuries of association with Britain, the education systems of the Commonwealth Caribbean are quite homogeneous. In each territory a Minister is responsible for the administration, operation, and overall development, of the system. All governments provide, at least to some extent, pre-school, primary, secondary, special, and post-secondary level education including vocational education, teacher training, and other programmes. In general, students in these countries read for the same examinations and seek entry to the same university.

Formal education begins at about six years of age. After five years at the primary level there is an 11 + examination which selects for the “ academic” stream of the secondary level. Another five years bring the student to the Ordinary level examinations of the Universities of Cambridge or London and, increasingly, of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) which has been set up to better reflect the needs and situation of the Caribbean. About one fifth of the candidates who have performed well at the ‘O’ level remain in school to complete the ‘A’ level which is a more specialised two-year course aimed largely at University admission.

Table 1: Some country indicators for the English-speaking Caribbean

The ‘O’ levels are, therefore, school leaving examinations for most of the students who then seek employment. Entry to the West Indian labour force with post-secondary education is very low and recruitment into public service, particularly in the smaller countries, is frequently done directly from the school system. The admission requirements to the tertiary colleges vary somewhat but are generally 4 or 5 CXC or GCE ‘O’ levels with some additional conditions.

Since independence, each decade has seen a very significant increase in student numbers and, necessary as this is, there have been problems. In some countries there are powerful statements about the low success levels and the poor quality of some programmes. For example, in Jamaica, mathematics and physics are reported to suffer greatly from an extreme shortage of qualified staff.

For most of the West Indies, education, particularly higher education, remains at a premium, and less than 1 % of the labour force are University graduates. Despite a population of over five million in the region, UWI has a student body numbering only 12 000 and this has only very recently been achieved. The numbers compare poorly with Latin America and South-East Asia, for example, and the comparison is particularly bad for the sciences and technology-based courses.

The shortage of middle-level technical and managerial manpower is a major constraint and so, too, is the scarcity of postgraduate and specialist level personnel needed to provide leadership and innovation, to ensure the efficient use of recent graduates, to aid in the transfer of technology, and to develop appropriate technologies. Training at this level is also inadequate. The need for more postgraduate training is felt particularly in the science-based and management disciplines where there is good correlation between the ability to advance scientific knowledge or to manage, and to use technology to generate national wealth.

The shortage of qualified personnel in the Caribbean is exacerbated by continuing migration. While the demand for education and training, both formal and informal, is large and continues to grow, expansion programmes are severely constrained by restricted finances and limited manpower. This must lead in some countries to a weakened capacity to generate new jobs, which in turn compounds the difficulties in retaining many of the best minds.

There is general agreement that all levels of the Caribbean education system require urgent attention, and the concern is how to manage the limited financial and human resources to maximise the efforts now being made and planned. In all this UWI must play a pivotal role.

The University of the West Indies

UWI is one of the only two regional universities worldwide. It is the successor institution to the University College of the West Indies (UCWI) which began teaching in 1948, in special relationship with the University of London, when 33 medical students entered the Mona campus, Jamaica. In the following year the Faculty of Natural Sciences admitted its first students and one year later the Faculty of Arts followed. UWI was designed as a very small elite school situated in Jamaica to serve the then perceived regional needs for medical doctors, teachers and the public service.

With independence, there were new opportunities and demands and the need for expansion was soon obvious. The former Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture at St. Augustine, Trinidad, became the site of the second campus in 1960. UCWI became the University of the West Indies in 1962, and the third campus, Cave Hill in Barbados, was established in 1963.

Table 2 shows the growth of student numbers. The breakdown by campus for 1989/90 is Mona - 5769; St. Augustine - 4166; Cave Hill 2264.

Table 2: Student numbers at UWI

These numbers illustrate the growth of student numbers and also emphasise the increasing significance of women in higher education. The percentage of female students overall is now 55% and there is every indication that this will continue to grow.

One consequence is that females greatly outnumber males at the secondary level in the teaching profession.


UWI now has eight faculties: Agriculture, Arts and General Studies, Education, Engineering, Law, Natural Sciences, Medical Sciences, and Social Sciences. There is considerable specialisation between campuses: Agriculture and Engineering are taught exclusively in Trinidad, and the second and third years of the Law degree in Barbados. Pre-clinical medicine is taught both in Jamaica and Trinidad, and Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine in Trinidad. Hotel Management and Tourism are taught in the Bahamas.

All the faculties prepare students for higher degrees including the Ph.D. Some masters degrees are by course work only, but others involve a considerable research element. Most postgraduate students are from the region but there is the desire to attract students from other countries.

In general the research patterns reflect the same specialisations but much effort is being made to encourage cross-campus and inter-faculty collaboration to strengthen the research base in areas such as agriculture, natural resources and environmental studies.


Continuing education has always been an important portfolio and is now receiving even more attention. The UWIDITE system, an interactive audio network supported by limited video, presently links the university centres in nine of the 14 contributing countries. This has made a great difference in providing credit and non-credit programmes across the Caribbean by allowing the beneficiaries to benefit without having to travel to a campus country. The provision of courses to teachers and trainers is particularly noteworthy. There are immediate plans for an upgrading and expansion of the UWIDITE system, both in technology and programmes to allow all the supporting territories to benefit and to place additional sites in the larger and/or multi-island states: UWIDITE will have a very significant effect on aspects of education.

UWI is involved in one way or other in most aspects of Caribbean education and particularly in teacher training. The University is becoming the hub of a network of the tertiary institutions and already the state colleges in the Bahamas, St. Lucia and Antigua are preparing students for UWI credits. This is expected to increase and it is expected, for example, that the Faculty of Agriculture will shortly assume close links with the various agricultural colleges of the region.

To support UWI’s outreach efforts, Offices of University services serve the non-campus countries. The Office in Cave Hill has a responsibility for the Eastern Caribbean states; the one in Mona deals with the Western Caribbean.

The financing of UWI

The university is funded through a University Grants Committee, and a Campus Grants Committee for each of the three campuses. The contributing governments pay by the number of students admitted on a per capita basis. Before 1984 the costs of students were averaged across faculties and campuses but since then, costs of students for each campus are calculated separately. These costs do not include indentifiable expenditures on research on special projects which are funded separately. The total budgets attributable to the governments, in millions of Jamaican dollars for 1989/90 are: Cave Hill: 125.311; Mona: 135.708; St. Augustine: 109.654. Total: 370.673.

The need for expansion

To date UWI has graduated 35 000 students - not a large number when the Caribbean population is considered. A large expansion of the undergraduate programme would require also the expansion of good education at the primary and secondary levels. But at present the applicants to UWI far exceed the number which can be accepted; in some areas the ratio of applicants to acceptances is as high as four or five to one. The need for additional educational opportunities at the tertiary level seems obvious. This cannot be met by UWI alone nor indeed is it likely to be met solely by conventional educational systems. The hub concept and UWIDITE are capable of real contributions but a great deal more will be necessary to meet the demands which the increasing population and the requirements of the next century will place on the Caribbean.

The role of the university

UWI is expected to do much more than serve the needs of the region for higher education. It is expected also to: contribute to the growth of knowledge and national and regional development; provide services of various types; and point the way to innovative solutions of problems.

One major priority of UWI is the application of science and technology to find appropriate solutions to the needs of the region. These efforts will include the development of science and enterprise parks in collaboration with the private sector. While the human resources available in the region for research is presently quite inadequate, UWI does possess significant staff resources and infrastructure in science, agriculture, and engineering. Collaboration with UWI is becoming more and more accepted and the Government of Jamaica’s recent Science Policy document states: “Thus effort will be made to harness the potential of university staff and their research students to produce data, methods, and information aimed at contributing to national development, and simultaneously to train personnel for continued development. Support will be given to the university to obtain funding for programmes, particularly those with regional impact.”

The governments appreciate the important role of the University and remain convinced that the regional nature of the institution should be preserved. Moreover, it must do so in a cost-efficient manner because the region as a whole is finding it increasingly difficult to finance even the basic needs of its people.

UWI has already made an enormous contribution to the region during its 42 years of existence. It has produced professionals of all types: teachers, medical doctors and support staff, clergy, lawyers, managers and staff of vital institutions including CARICOM; members of government including ministers and prime ministers and many others. Yet the conditions of the Caribbean are such that the job has really just begun. There is now a remarkable window of opportunity for UWI. If the University and the region it serves, including governments and the private sector, can rise to the challenge, it will truly continue, as the theme of its 40th anniversary celebrations puts it, to make a world of difference.


Trinidad and Tobago: the technical training institutes


Four hundred and fifty three man-months of technical aid to Trinidad and Tobago’s two state-controlled technical institutes were provided under the auspices of the European Development Fund (EDF) over the period September 1978 to June 1989.

This took the form of assignment of 12 technical agents: five to the John S. Donaldson Technical Institute (JSDTI) located in the capital city, Port of Spain, in the north; and, seven to the San Fernando Technical Institute (SFTI) in the City of San Fernando in the industrial south, roughly 50 kilometres away.

The latest model of SFTI which 50 its doors in 1980 is the successor entity of two precursor institutes. The first of these was the Junior Technical School which was transmuted as it were into the predecessor institute of its current version in the mid 1950s. Its northern counterpart commenced operations in the first quarter of 1963, long after it was built but less than a year after Trinidad and Tobago had achieved political independence. While perhaps not as spectacular a metamorphosis as SFTI the latter underwent significant physical and organisational expansion by way of absorption of the staff and facilities of the former USAID-sponsored Changuaramas Trade School in 1964, and later by the construction of a technical teacher-training facility opened in 1979 for teachers of so-called specialised craft subjects in the senior comprehensive schools of the general education system.

Both institutions fall under the direct supervision of an organisational unit of the Ministry of Education, namely, Division of Vocational and Technical Education and Training which also, in effect, functions as de facto secretariat of the National Training Board, a non-statutory body entrusted with a great deal of responsibility but with very little teeth.

In the early 1960s the institutes provided a wide variety of courses at primary (craftsman) and middle manpower (technician) levels, employing various kinds of vocational and technical organisation, e.g. full time, day release, part-time day, evening, and so on. These were principally in industrial and commercial and to a lesser extent in distributive and home-making occupations, but also included, in the case of JSDTI, was a professional course in land surveying, long since projected into the hallowed halls of academia at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.

What the course of education and training, not to mention industrial, development would otherwise have been, is perhaps a subject worthy of serious study by those who write about the history of education, and industrialisation, but suffice it to say that implementation of the new policy measures meant that the technical institutes were to phase out their craftsmen’s courses to the comprehensive school system and to expand and deepen technician education and training programmes. The technical institutes would have had to phase out their trade courses in any event as was initially planned, but in the new order of things, mirabile dictu, occupational education and training was to be incorporated into a general education milieu as a matter of policy.

This then was the backdrop to the advent of EDF technical assistance to the two institutes, sought in order to assist generally with the introduction of new middle-level courses, inauguration of teacher training at JSDTI and also to assist in the final commissioning of the spanking new technical institute of the industrial capital and to set it on a path of perdurable development. It was ushered in at JSDTI in September 1978, specifically for the design and conduct of an upgrading course for supervisors and engineering assistants engaged in the highway engineering section of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications and concurrently for the planning of an education and training course, for civil engineering technicians, not hitherto offered in Trinidad and Tobago. It began at the former SFTI in January 1979 when an instructor in welding technology assumed duties as a member of the teaching establishment there but who, in the circumstances of commissioning of the new institute, became quite heavily involved, more so than in teaching, in the work of supervising the selection, reconditioning and installation of laboratory and workshop equipment for practical work in welding and fabricating, and heat treatment technology.

By the time the last agent left more than 10 years later, the institutes between them had received in addition, but excluding technical teacher training, assistants in the following: architectural drafting, quantity surveying, automobile technology, industrial instrumentation, mechanical engineering, production engineering, civil engineering, air-conditioning and refrigeration technology and building construction.

Mandates of technical agents

Overall, the objectives of technical assistance were promoted on the basis of individual contracts between agents and the European Association for Cooperation. The relevant mandates reflected an interesting farrago of duties from which one common element emerged, namely, responsibility for teaching, but some agents were to become more heavily involved in this than others.

Other duties correlated with technology transfer were included to varying degrees. In the case of four agents, all mandated duties were exactly the same as those stated in the job descriptions of regular full-time teaching staff, and for these same agents there were no specifically assigned responsibilities for curriculum development; nor were there any indications that they had to train counterpart staff in any way whatsoever; they were teachers, plain and simple, according to their remits. The job outlines of six other agents included a specific responsibility for assistance with training either or both counterpart teaching and ancillary support staff, the latter being either laboratory technicians or workshop attendants; and they also had a responsibility for assisting with curriculum development.

The average period of attachment of the technical agents was approximately three years; the longest tour roughly was nine years. The contractual periods of five agents were extended on more than one occasion in the case of at least two of them. Although mandates invariably designated agents as being assigned to one or other institute, some agents undertook work in both, by request.

Impact of technical assistance

In the industrial cycle, raw materials are transformed into finished products by the application of capital and skilled manpower (engineers, technicians, craftsmen and the like). Considering an analogy of this dynamic cycle in the world of occupational preparation is the typical scenario: unskilled manpower (the raw materials) being transformed behaviourally into skilled manpower (finished products) by means of the employment of capital assets and the technical and technological capability (including the brains and the skills) of the instructional staff. Training may thus be regarded as part of the construct of the elusive concept, technology transfer. As in the case of industry, where efficiency of any particular technology may be assessed by estimating value-added for specific configurations of capital and manpower mix (typically, value-added per worker and value-added per unit of capital employed), we could similarly attempt to assess the efficiency of technology transfer in a training situation. This could be done by determining, say, output of skilled workers per man-hour of training, and numbers of skilled workers trained per dollar of capital employed or as in this case, per dollar or ecu of technical assistance provided.

The major benefits of technical assistance were projected to be derived from transfer of technology to the local trainers of the new courses being introduced. The kind of analysis referred to in the foregoing was rendered impossible, however, because, with the exception of a few agents who kept detailed records of their work, the necessary dates were unavailable. In the circumstances, therefore, only an account is given of those aspects of technology transfer as they relate to: (i) training of trainers and ancillary staff; and, (ii) training needs in terms of curriculum design and associated infrastructure.

Training of local trainers and ancillary staff

As far as limited institutional training resources permitted, technical agents were assigned local counterpart teaching staff or ancillary staff or both, sometimes even when this was not specifically indicated by mandate, but more often than not on the basis of Hobson’s choice. Suitably qualified staff to teach, let alone serve as effective counterparts were, to put it mildly, extremely thin on the ground. And in the majority of cases the local staff assigned had little or no industrial experience and hardly any practical skills. Under-staffing also meant that agents were frequently called upon to perform marathon sessions of classroom teaching, leaving very little time for anything else; so much “chalk and talk” that vital laboratory demonstration exercises for example had often to be cancelled. Altogether, 12 trainer counterparts were assigned but at the time of writing only eight of these were still in teaching at the institutes.

Constraints upon performance

The major factors which militated against the impact of technical assistance were:

Because of the unavailability of local full-time staff, caused by inability to fill vacancies or for other reasons, it became necessary for some agents to undertake substitute teaching apart from meeting their own teaching commitments, resulting in some cases in student contact instruction of 25 h-30 h per week. This excessive teaching load allowed little time for anything else, with consequent losses in transfer-of-technology benefits. Staff shortages also created difficulties with scheduling of training sessions with counterpart staff.

Because of either the unavailability of equipment or acquisition of unsuitable equipment, practical work including “ hands-on “ training suffered with resultant diminution in the impact of teaching and technology transfer. Training also suffered because of poor accommodation, specifically the northern wing of JSDTI.

The absence of a fellowship component operating in concert with technical assistance to supplement the work of technical agents with local trainers, resulted in delays in implementing proposals for succession planning - and deepening of the technology-transfer process.

Lack of coordination in implementation of technical assistance

Although there were present at the same time in Trinidad and Tobago and for fairly long periods of time several agents involved in the work of the two technical institutes, no attempts on the part of either governmental or EEC agencies were made to integrate their work in a coordinated frame such that the institutes might have derived the most from the efforts of the agents acting in concert as one unit as opposed to individual inclination. Two examples stand out: development of the education and training programmes for construction and air-conditioning and refrigeration. Such a mechanism might have undoubtedly reduced, if not altogether eliminated, the open conflicts between agents which arose in the field over a number of technical issues.

Problems arose where the contracts of agents whose responsibilities focused on teaching, ended before courses did, thereby necessitating approaches to relevant authorities for extensions which did not always come in a timely manner. Thus agents’ performances were adversely affected.

By any reasonable standard of assessment, it could be concluded that the John S. Donaldson and San Fernando Technical Institutes fairly benefited from the technical assistance sponsored by the European Communities over the period 1978 to 1989.

As these institutes move to the status of schools of advanced science and technology, there can be little doubt that further technical assistance from the EEC and possibly also from other multilateral and bilateral agencies will be required in order that they may be restructured.

The experience gained from this, the first wave of technical assistance, should serve as guidance for avoidance of glitches and pitfalls and suggests that in the mounting of successor schemes, planning and implementation should be done on the basis of a cooperative project involving the institutes, relevant governmental agencies, representatives of industry and the local office of the Delegate of the Commission of the European Communities, and which would include twinning arrangements with suitable education and training institutions abroad.



by BartholomMAT ARMENGOL and Jean-Pierre DUBOIS

Financial aspects and geographical breakdown

Education and training accounted for about 16% of total commitments to the Associated States of Africa and Madagascar under the 1st EDF, but their share had dropped considerably, to only 9 %, by the 4th EDF (Lom).

Under LomI, national and regional training schemes represented about ECU 268 m, i.e. slightly more than 8% of the 5th EDF (national and regional) programme funds, and there were training operations in some of the projects on top of this. But the vast majority (85 % of operations and 87 % of investment) was independent of projects and in most cases involved multiannual training programmes consisting mainly of study grants, seminars and tailormade technical assistance operations.

The situation in the different regions varied widely, with a high percentage of training schemes in Southern Africa and the Caribbean and a very low one in Central Africa and in the Horn (see box).

With LomII, the current total for known training schemes - i.e. both tied to and independent of projects and programmes - approaches the ECU 265 m mark, which is roughly 5.6% of (national and regional) programme funds under the 6th EDF. There is a difference with LomI here, in that this amount includes the training component of the major programmes and a reasonable assessment of the sums spent on education in the projects and programmes which went before the EDF Committee in 1989.

Regional differences persist. Although training schemes account for 5.6% of the 6th EDF programme funds overall, the Southern African percentage is far greater than that. The Caribbean figure is almost entirely accounted for by a heavy regional training component, as it was under LomI, while Southern Africa has a very large number of training (in the formal sense of the word) projects at both national and regional level.

And training represents a very small percentage of EDF-financed schemes in Central Africa, as it does in the Horn.

Lastly, the major training component in the coastal states of West Africa is very largely due to the emphasis on training schemes in Nigeria.

Multiannual training programmes are a thing of the past almost everywhere, but independent projects still account for a considerable volume of activity and investment and understandably so, since training programmes cannot just confine them-selves to the requirements of the focal sector, but have to bear general needs in mind too.

So, in financial terms, training schemes account for less under LomII than they did under LomI (ECU 265 m, or 5.6% of programme funds, as compared to ECU 268 m, or 8%).

This overall reduction works out very differently in the regions. Whereas the amounts spent on projects remain comparable in coastal and East Africa, there is an increase in Southern Africa and West Africa and a drop in Central Africa - a trend which has emerged among the funders too and in the countries South of the Sahara, which have been spending less and less on education over the past few years.

This decline in the amount the Community channels into training reflects the ACPs’ own reservations about their education and training systems - many of them seem to put no priority on educational support, in spite of the negative effect which structural adjustment programmes have on their education budget - as well as a change in the kind of schemes which it finances.

Sectoral aspects

The Community began by financing educational infrastructure and then gradually added to this, from Yaound onwards, by paying for study grants and courses, sending out teaching staff, running special vocational training programmes and, more recently, promoting cooperation between institutions and universities.

The percentage of financing spent on infrastructure has decreased over the various Conventions and that spent on technical assistance and grants considerably increased.

Since the 1st EDF, the Community has financed a large number of primary and secondary education schemes, mainly building schools and teacher training, and this has partly continued under Lom11, in particular with financing for microprojects and refugee relief programmes (Article 204 of LomII) and, in some cases, use of the counterpart funds accruing from the various instruments.

But the bulk of Community aid has gone into the tertiary sector, both (and above all) into building and equipment and then, under LomI especially, increasingly into support packages combining technical assistance with equipment, staff improvement programmes, study grants and building and rehabilitation.

This tertiary sector drive includes general backing for universities and more targeted support, particularly for vocational technical training, science and mathematics, management, statistics, rural development and animal and human health, and it reflects a general trend among the funders and the ACP countries themselves, all of which have channelled a huge percentage of resources into education and advanced training.

The inter-institutional and inter-university cooperation of which there were one or two cases under Lom has been stepped up considerably under LomI, the largest number of schemes being in Nigeria and the countries of Southern Africa. The Third Convention in fact emphasises the importance of this departure and the Community cannot but encourage it.

Community-financed technical cooperation has taken other forms too. Funds have been provided for one or two trainer-experts in education ministries to help with the identification and running of training schemes in Swaziland (technical assistance at the Ministry of Education), Nigeria (formation of a Training Support Unit taking in the National Universities Commission, the NAO, the Ministry of Technology and the Ministry of Education), Sudan (Sudanese technical assistance with running the training programme) and Tanzania (in the big ASSP programme). But this type of cooperation remains an exception as far as the Community is concerned.

More common is the support given to ACP training institutions, often in the form of internal technical assistance with management, teaching or staff improvement programmes, as follows:

- Management support for programmes to put people in the picture about anti-desertification in the Sahel and in the coastal states of West Africa.

- Teaching support for institutions - pre-university science and mathematics training in various countries of Southern Africa, support for the University of Swaziland, for the Veterinary Faculty of Zimbabwe University, for Universities and Polytechnics in Nigeria etc.

- Staff Improvement Programmes - support for Makerere (Uganda), Uniswa (Swaziland), etc.

Another form of technical assistance involves organising ad hoc training courses locally, with European technical assistance, preferably as part of major programmes (such as the development of the Mono in Benin and support for training in the cooperative movement in Tanzania).

EEC and/or ACP consultants may also be sent out to identify training programmes, as has happened in Sudan, Nigeria, Swaziland, Uganda, the Solomon Islands, Benin and so on.

And there are the scholarship programmes. Although aid for training seems to involve a constantly dwindling number of study grants (this includes those for Europe), the decline is far from being as great as figures suggest, because LomII grants only began to be committed in late 1988 and the biggest commitments are yet to come.

The majority of ACP grant-holders in Europe study in the United Kingdom, followed by France and Belgium. This is easily explained by the traditional links with the former metropolises and by the fact that English-speaking ACP countries predominate. Language plays its part here, in spite of the effort some Member States have made with specialised (often post-graduate) programmes in English and/or French for developing country nationals.

Aspects of implementation

The Community began by financing training schemes, mainly through its multiannual training programmes - tailor-made study grant and technical assistance package.

LomII made an important change here and one which reflected an attitude which many funders adopted too. It involved focusing aid on certain sectors and, therefore, integrating the training schemes into the various programmes and projects, thus bringing the courses more into line with the specific needs of the economy and perhaps ensuring a better spread of training possibilities, to the benefit of informal and professional vocational subjects, so as to help make for greater democracy of opportunity.

The programming of programme-and project-linked training schemes fell badly behind under LomII. In many cases, the relevant training was not even identified, let alone provided, before the arrival of the technical assistance team responsible for running the programme, and some times not so for several years after approval of the programme by the Commission.

At the same time, specific support for national and regional training institutes is of course still possible under LomII and many such operations have been run. And there are training programmes which are based on studies of exact needs and better integrated than the old multiannual ones used to be.

The Community is now making a considerable effort to improve its identification and programming of training schemes - an effort which may help to explain the delay in financial commitments - but it still does not have the human resources it needs, either in Brussels or in the Delegations, to improve the quality and quantity of these operations. Accordingly there is no guarantee of proper follow-up. The decline in the relative value of training funds from Lom l to LomII in fact corresponds to a considerable increase in the number of training schemes, particularly in Southern Africa and Nigeria.

The various aspects of the volume of finance channelled into training schemes are not necessarily significant, although the decline in resources spent on education and training does not, of course suggest that it is high on the Community’s list of priorities. The decisive thing is the contribution which training makes to the viability of development projects and to the improvement of training institutes required for national development. This contribution will be improved by a more precise definition of training needs and by tighter contol at the stage of project definition.

This means that, even though the Community does not see training and education as a priority in its relations with the ACPs, its work in this field is vital nonetheless, bearing in mind the restrictive attitude of many of the funders and the reluctance of the ACP countries themselves.

The Community still has an effort to make here, however, as in many cases it has still not managed to bring in the training schemes needed to improve the viability of development projects.

B.A.A. J.-P.D.

Lomé II and III: funds allocated to training-related operations

The European Development Fund’s resources under the Lomonventions are allocated to national or regional programmes designed jointly by the Commission of the European Communities and its ACP partners. Where the ACP States so wish, some of the resources are spent on training in the individual countries or in a regional context, for example in cooperation with organisations such as the SADCC or specialised ACP or EEC training institutes. For the purposes of regional cooperation, the ACP States are divided into eight regions.

Regional breakdown of proportion of national funds under LomI and LomII allocated to training (%)

Regional programmes (%)

Training schemes can be part of other EDF-financed development projects, depending on sectoral priorities, or they can stand alone. Training components are supported by an array of accompanying measures ranging from construction work to technical assistance.

National Indicative Programmes

In none of the eight regions was more than 20 % of national programme resources allocated to training under LomI and LomII. East, West and Southern Africa and the Sahel accounted for 87 % of Africa’s share of training funds. Africa’s share of total training funds rose to 94%.

Though more resources were available under LomII, fewer funds were allocated to training.

Under LomI, 11% of funds went to training. This figure fell to just over 8% under LomII.

Central, Southern and West Africa and the Caribbean accounted for 90% of regional training funds.

There was no training component in the Pacific region.

Sectoral breakdown

Under LomI, all regions channelled at least 40% of their national training funds through comprehensive training programmes.

There was a trend under LomII to increase the amounts allocated to training components within other projects (up from 7 % to 3 1%). Reflecting the policy shift, more funds were directed towards agricultural projects, with a corresponding decrease in industrial investment. However, services still accounted for one fifth of the funds allocated to training.

Cultural projects came on the scene for the first time.


Purely agricultural training projects accounted for 5 % of total national training funds under LomI, with approximately one third of the projects in East Africa, but the percentage doubled when agriculture-related projects were included, rising to 33 % under LomII.


At least 30% of LomI training funds in East and Southern Africa went on industrial training and 17 of the 19 projects were in these two regions.

The same applied under LomII.

Other sectors

Training operations accounting for approximately one third of national training funds appeared under this “ mixed “ heading, showing a quantity of projects associated with various sectors.

Technical assistance, scholarship and infrastructure content of training operations (%)

Regional funds (%)

Level of training

The tendency, especially in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific regions, has been to concentrate on university or vocational training. However, operations at primary and secondary levels did increase under LomII (17 out of 131). This applied to regional programmes as well. Higher-level training often included a technical component.

It is often difficult to identify the individual components of training operations but the table below gives an idea of the breakdown.

When we consider that funds for national indicative programmes increased under LomII as compared to LomI, it is disappointing to note that expenditure on training in fact decreased, relatively speaking.

Generally, resources have been directed where the need is greatest and the trend has been towards integrating training into projects ab initio.

The links between training and production: the example of Senegal

Educational reform was undertaken in 1971 and 1972, but its failings, particularly on the technical and vocational side, were such that a general conference on education and training had to be held in 1981.

After this, the National Reform Commission invited the Education Ministry to set up the “ New School “, a new departure which, according to the country’s 7th Development Plan, was aimed, inter alia, at extending vocational education and bringing the quantity and quality of vocational training more into line with the needs of the employment market.

The schemes involved here include the creation and development of CRFPs - Regional Vocational Training Centres - in the interior, to promote economic activity in all branches of the modern, traditional and informal sectors which either presently exist or which could be encouraged in the rural areas.

The 5th EDF has financed a detailed study of two regions - Saint Louis and Ziguinchor - where the problem of tailoring training to present and future employment is particularly acute.

Saint Louis

The Senegal Valley development policy, involving the gradual development of irrigated farming and directly and indirectly allied activities, was the cause of some upheaval, particularly on rural life, in the St. Louis region. It resulted in concentration of population in areas by the river, development potential for agro-food industries, activities prompted by the increase in irrigated crops and a change in traditional methods resulting either in unemployment or emigration.

The education system had to meet the demands of this situation and ensure that the extension of irrigation and improvements to growing methods would indeed make it possible to reactivate the economy and encourage other development possibilities (in fishing, craft linked to production systems, intensive animal rearing and so on).

Surveys of businessmen, producers (in the modern sector) and operators in the craft sector (masters, qualified craftsmen and apprentices) revealed that there were considerable needs to be met at virtually every level. Technical training for specific posts and a higher standard of literacy in the modern sector, as well as training and advanced technical skills in administration, financial management and production organisation in the craft sector were called for.

General training (in French and mathematics) for apprentices is seen as a priority (being the stepping stone to technical qualifications), as is a more specific grounding in general mechanics, metalwork, welding, furniture assembly, clothing manufacture and electronics.


This area has very sound physical and climatic potential when it comes to the sort of development that is focused on agriculture, fishing, forestry and tourism.

Surveys suggest that requirements in the modern sector hinge on improving general and technical knowledge, perfecting work organisation and developing in-service training.

Professionals consulted in the informal sector stress that training arrangements should be compatible with craft production methods (and involve evening classes and crash courses). Priority for apprentices is on literacy and training in technology, followed by mechanics and electrics.

The whole idea of the CRFPs is to set up decentralised training structures that are flexible and can be constantly adapted to the needs of the economy in the regions concerned. In practice, this adaptability is achieved, in particular, by having all the region’s economic operators (administrators, professional organisations, businessmen and the users themselves) involved in defining the training schemes.

It is the CRFP’s job to assist the aforementioned category of young person, namely those already outside the school system or taken out of courses by an apprenticeship.

The beneficiaries of the scheme are craftsmen and manual workers, people in charge of groups and associations (of women, youngsters, villagers etc), apprentices, lower secondary school pupils who cannot follow vocational training courses, small bosses in trade and industry and women (additional training and job creation).

On offer are technical, practical and theory classes (in construction techniques, ironwork, woodwork and mechanics) for craftsmen and manual workers, additional training (in literacy, current events etc), educational training for selected craftsmen with a view to passing on technical skills to apprentices, basic training for apprentices and courses to bring young people in a learning situation up to standard.

The training schemes are designed to cater for needs, in the light of local resources and in coordination with the other people involved (businessmen, professional organisations and so on), and they can therefore be altered or amended from one year to the next to provide the best possible response to the demands of the labour market and the sectoral policies of the Government.

General principles of training

The Centres’ educational principles involve ensuring a constant link between training and production, which of course means developing the sort of educational engineering which will provide permanent diagnostic, design and evaluation facilities.

Other, equally vital principles behind the coherence of training and production include alternating theory and practice, producing utilitarian objects in the workshops, getting teams of teachers and students to fit out their own workshops, access to local workshops and, lastly, issuing formal qualifications in the light of the profession’s recognition of skills actually acquired. If there is no reference to national diplomas, then there will be no slippage into fields already amply catered for by the surplus diploma-holders turned out by many conventional training institutions.

Education and training schemes under Lomé IV


Articles 150 and 151 of the new Convention (in annex) describe priority education and training schemes.

Education and training needs are to be identified at the programming stage (i.e. in the indicative programme), a requirement which also applies to projects and programmes to be financed from the counterpart funds. They are to be geared to the sectoral aims of the indicative programme and are therefore linked to Community aid - a LomV innovation which should make for the fastest possible implementation of training schemes.

These training schemes may be clearly identified, integrated programmes and preferably run in focal sectors, although this does not rule out those in other sectors too.

All major development programmes will have to have training sections which start up, if possible, before the programmes themselves and not several years afterwards as was often the case under LomII.

Level of education

Article 151 of LomV contains an important change in that it puts priority in this field on support for primary education and literacy schemes - a response to what is a totally reasonable request from the ACPs, bearing in mind the general state of their primary schools. This is another of LomV’s innovations.

Nevertheless, in view of the Community’s present experience of higher education and technical and vocational training, some importance must be placed on continuing support in these two areas, with local training courses in ACP institutions still to the fore and regional training institutions getting priority.

The Community’s support for higher education and technical and vocational training will still be geared to:

- keeping the teachers in their jobs and improving the intellectual and material environment of teaching in various ways, with staff improvement programmes, management support, research support (particularly in libraries) and help with building accommodation for teachers;

- regional training institutions, perhaps with a grants fund (supplied by the regional funds and allocated for courses in regional institutions), and inter-university cooperation;

- rehabilitating buildings and equipment.

Education and the social aspects of adjustment

Education may be an essential part of the social dimension of adjustment policies and one which the Community may want to single out with the World Bank - i.e. where appropriate, to discuss projected adjustment measures and reforms affecting the whole of the system of education with the World Bank and the ACPs concerned. This is something which did not happen under LomII and it is the most important innovation of the new Convention.

The Community could run a basic sectoral dialogue here, on the country’s education policy, within certain limits and with a view to two kinds of financial support:

(i) to formulate particular aspects of the education policy envisaged within the framework of an adjustment programme. This could be in the form of technical assistance;

(ii) to encourage particular schemes. This could be combined with technical assistance.

Given its limited human and financial possibilities at the moment, it can only hope to have such discussions with a limited number of ACP countries. Most of its training schemes, in fact, will be a continuation of work done under LomII.

And it will have to adopt a very gradual approach to commitments in this limited number of countries, initially only agreeing to the possible financing of some aspects of the educational reforms which the ACP and the World Bank propose if these aspects are in line with Community objectives.

With education policies, it has to be realised that the effect of measures which are proposed to, forced upon or chosen by a country is never the anticipated one, as the following example show:

- It may seem legitimate, as the World Bank systematically suggests, to support primary and secondary schooling to the detriment of higher education, although without always asking why attendance is poor.

- Another problem is that a number of funders systematically support educational reforms which put far more stress on technical and vocational training than general courses. Is this effective when it comes to looking for a job? And is it financially justified?

The Community will be especially careful to take the individual features of the various education systems into account, as their costs (of salaries, supervision etc), for example, may be made up in different countries in different ways. And it will be sure to go for the restrictive measures that are socially the least difficult to apply.

The Community might envisage an educational SIP (Special Import Programme) under certain conditions, a useful instrument, particularly when it comes to delivering the teaching materials and equipment that are vital to the running of all or part of an education system.

It is important to realise that the Community does not have the human resources to start up a proper dialogue on these issues with the ACP institutions.

So the first risk it runs is of wasting these meagre resources in its relations with other funders, some of whom, the World Bank for example, are in a de facto position of dominance. The Community’s relations with this body are in fact outpacing its relations with the ACP countries, perverting LomV dangerously and entailing a real political risk.

The second risk is that of forcing the ACPs to undertake educational reforms without an adequate knowledge of their institutions and without a thoroughgoing dialogue with them. So the ACPs have to know what they want and to tell the Community so.